Matjiesfontein, Central Karoo District Municipality, Western Cape, 6901, South Africa
Take a step back into time and visit the charming Victorian town of Matjiesfontein. Fondly known as “The Grand Duchess of the Karoo”, the town was established in the year of 1884.
The whole town of Matjiesfontein is a national monument and is believed to be one of the most haunted places in South Africa. And there is no better place to base yourself when visiting the Cape Karoo.
The Lord Milner Hotel is popular attraction as well as the London Red Bus, which will take you on the shortest tour in the country accompanied by the local tour guide, Johnnie. This humorous and informative tour is a must when visiting. Lasting no longer than 10 minutes, you will be back in no time for a quiet pint at the Laird’s Arms pub right next door to the hotel.
Just 20km from Matjiesfontein, the charming town of Laingsburg is also ripe for a visit. Offering old-school hospitality and with buildings dating back to the 1800s, you will remain in time capsule mode. Make sure you visit the Flood Museum in town, which allows you to view artefacts and images from the terrible flood that hit the town in 1981.
End your evening in The Dining Room at the Lord Milner, where we recommend you order the lamb, sourced from the local Karoo farmers – you won’t find better! The restaurant has been serving its guests for the last 120 years; and boasts the same historic ambience found throughout Matjiesfontein. Dine in a Victorian setting filled with period antiques and let the red-jacketed porters welcome you and offer a selection of fine wines from across the Western Cape region.
When you retire, keep an ear, and an eye out for ‘Kate’, the ghost of a young nurse who mysteriously passed away here and has been seen roaming the passages of the Lord Milner by guests and staff over the years. Whether it’s true or just a ghost story to give visitors the shivers, it’s hard no to imagine the former residents of this charming town wanting to stay on in the afterlife.